Your wonderful half-day adventure starts as you leave behind bustling Helsinki with your local, friendly professionally trained wilderness guide to visit one of the world's largest archipelagos and experience the breathtaking scenery. This incredibly special, small group tour is kept to a maximum amount of eight guests at a time to ensure a very intimate and one-on-one experience with your guide.
After approximately 1-hour driving you will arrive to Porkkalanniemi, a peninsula in the Gulf of Finland, located at Kirkkonummi in Southern Finland. The peninsula had great strategic value, as coastal artillery based there would be able to shoot more than halfway across the Gulf of Finland. Located in Kirkkonummi, the area consists of rocky shores, pine forest, and beautiful outlooks onto the sea. Porkkala is a popular picnic destination and the vast area is ideal for trail running or short hikes where locals often go.
The Porkkala cape stretches far out to the sea and is one of the best places to watch arctic birds migrating. Seabirds thrive in the area due to its rich and diverse habitat. Porkkala has a considerable population of common eiders and is also an important resting area for long-tailed ducks. Lucky visitors may even spot moose or white-tailed deer in Porkkala.
Set off on a guided walk on a forest trail leading to an open-rock area which is the first display of the many diverse areas Porkkala has to offer. This open-rock area will give you the opportunity to see what effects coastal weather has on the near-by forest. Pine trees that are used to standing tall and true are forced to grow into short disfigured trees which reach for the forest inland. Your walk into the forest will be on a maintained nature trail with countless smaller trails made by deer, foxes, moose and more!
The trail we will lead to an ancient burial cairn dating to the Nordic bronze age. This historical site gives insight into the funeral practices and social and religious structures of northern Europe more than three millennia ago. You will also see Soviet-era bunkers which have since been reclaimed by nature. Porkkala is a great place for birders to see mute swans and great migrations of birds in the spring and fall. With the believe that nature heals all, once you are surrounded by these natural wonders and incredibly diverse habitats this half-day in the archipelago will leave you wanting to surely rekindle your love for the great outdoors.
Shortly after passing the burial cairn you will find a picturesque coastal view. Here you will discover picnic tables ready to greet you and you can stop to take a break and refuel with a delightful prepared lunch plus coffee and tea. Soak in your surroundings and listen to the sounds of nature with this magnificent seaside view. After lunch, the last part of your walk is in a highly regarded bird watching area with panoramic views of the archipelago.
This short, but rejuvenating option while in Helsinki provides a great chance to get away from the city for a few hours and recharge your inner battery while you reconnect with nature. After returning to the city you can be dropped off back to the harbor area and your ship, or in downtown Helsinki if you prefer to take in some of the local sights on your own.
Shore Excursions Group was created with one goal in mind: to provide exceptional travel experiences to cruise passengers in the ports they visit around the world. To accomplish this, we have compiled an exceptional array of tours delivered by local experts with decades of experience serving travelers and delivering excellent tours. Our owners and management team are comprised of seasoned travel industry executives who leverage their considerable experience to deliver memories of a lifetime.
We are experts in providing exceptional shore excursions. We understand that in today's fast paced world, vacations have become an increasingly important way to relax, reconnect with family and friends, and experience new and interesting places. With this in mind, we provide the highest quality tours by performing extensive research, and detailed reviews. While other companies also offer excursions, we strongly believe our expertise and approach set us apart. The large cruise lines sell shore excursions - typically in very large groups visiting high traffic sites. We focus on smaller groups visiting more interesting and authentic locations using more personalized local operators. While the cruise lines are experts in delivering cruises, we are experts in delivering shore excursions.
We believe quality service is not only highly valued by customers, but ultimately leads to better experiences and higher satisfaction. Unlike the cruise lines and other tour companies that rely almost entirely on websites, we encourage customers to call us. We want to invest our time answering your questions, providing input, and selecting the excursions that best meet your needs.
Our goal is to provide customers a wide array of exciting, appealing, and enriching tours. For those customers who prefer to travel in smaller groups with more personalized service, we offer a wide variety of small group tours around the world. These tours generally range in size from 2-12 people compared to larger tours which can number up to 50 people. While exploring the destinations and ports on this website, feel free to search for these "Small Group Tours". For those customers interested in private tours, we offer many outstanding excursions that allow you to travel with your party alone and, in many cases, to fully customize your tour. Search for "Private Tours" if you are interested in this experience. Our "Scenic" tours provide up close and personal access to some of the most spectacular natural environments on Earth from majestic glaciers in Alaska to spectacular reefs in the Caribbean. Our "Cultural" tours allow customers to experience local customs, entertainment and culinary delights ranging from tribal dances in Alaska to an outstanding local meal in Santorini, Greece. Our "Active" tours offer a multitude of exciting and adventurous ways to experience our destinations. Our customers can kayak the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, hike to a spectacular waterfall in Hawaii, or bicycle through quaint villages in France. Our "City" tours allow travelers to see the highlights of great cities around the world with unique insights provided by our expert tour guides.
In our experience, exceptional travel experiences are almost always delivered by exceptional people. With that in mind, we utilize a comprehensive approach to select and employ the leading tour guides and tour providers around the globe. We hold our people to very high standards which we measure by our comprehensive Quality Control process and, most importantly, by our customer feedback, which we will actively seek from each of our customers.
Shore Excursions Group is owned by seasoned travel executives possessing extensive experience across many sectors within the travel industry.
Bradford J. Miller
Mr. Miller is the former Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer for Abercrombie & Kent, the World's leading luxury travel company. In that role, Mr. Miller was responsible for contributing to Abercrombie & Kent's international growth through the development and acquisition of tour products and travel experiences around the world with a specific focus on cruising and land based experiences. Prior to joining Abercrombie & Kent, Mr. Miller held a variety of executive positions with Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises for more than a decade. These positions included Vice President of Guest Sales & Service, Vice President of Brand Development, and Vice President of Onboard Revenue (which included shore excursions). Mr. Miller also led Celebrity Expeditions, a collection of outstanding and unique tours around the World.
Mr. Bonner has over a decade of experience working in the cruise industry in a variety of roles for both Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Viking River Cruises. Most recently, Mr. Bonner was the Chief Operating Officer for The Scholar Ship, a Royal Caribbean program aimed at providing college students onboard educational programs in conjunction with enriching shore excursions around the world. Mr. Bonner also helped co-manage Viking River Cruises U.S. Operations, and he ran the corporate, strategic, and deployment planning functions at Royal Caribbean. While at Royal Caribbean, Mr. Bonner was responsible for forming Royal Celebrity Tours, Royal Caribbean's land-based tour operation in Alaska, which takes cruise passengers on multiple day tours through the interior of Alaska either before or after their cruises. Prior to working at Royal Caribbean, Mr. Bonner was a consultant for Booz Allen & Hamilton.